Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 4:07pm
Three faculty members of The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston (UTSD) received the UT System Board of Regents’ highest honor July 11 in recognition of outstanding performance in the classroom and laboratory.
English is a professor and chair of the Department of Orthodontics and interim chair of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry. Walji is an associate professor in the Department of Diagnostic and Biomedical Sciences and was recently named "Director of Informatics" by Dean John A. Valenza, DDS.
At the School of Dentistry, Hecht is associate dean for research and a professor in the Department of Diagnostic and Biomedical Sciences. She is also professor and division head of the Pediatric Research Center and vice chair for research in the Department of Pediatrics at UTHealth Medical School.
This is the first year the Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Awards have been conferred on faculty at UT System health institutions. Each of these faculty members will receive a $25,000 award and be showcased on the UT System website. The awards are among the most competitive in the nation and recognize faculty members at UT System institutions who have demonstrated dedication to innovation and advancing excellence.
"These awards demonstrate the Board’s commitment to recognize outstanding faculty members for their exceptional performance and innovation in the classroom,” Regents’ Chairman Gene Powell said. “The Board is very pleased to offer these teaching excellence awards for the first time to faculty members at our outstanding comprehensive academic health science centers.”
To be considered for these awards, faculty members undergo a series of rigorous evaluations by students, peer faculty and external reviewers. The review panels consider a range of activities and criteria in their evaluations of a candidate’s teaching performance, including classroom expertise, curricula quality, innovative course development and student learning outcomes.
“We have a mandate to provide an education of the first class, and I firmly believe the efforts of these outstanding faculty members significantly enhance the educational experience for our students and, just as importantly, sharpen the competitive edge of our science and technology activities,” Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa, MD said. “Furthermore, recognizing teaching excellence is aligned with the Framework for Advancing Excellence throughout The University of Texas System.”
Established by the Board of Regents in 2008, the Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Awards complement a wide range of efforts that underscore the Board of Regents’ commitment to ensuring the UT System is a place of intellectual exploration and discovery, educational excellence and unparalleled opportunity.